Other report findings include:
The Filene report illuminates the often irrational ways consumers choose payment methods. But what might be perfectly rational reasons for using a credit card (interest-free loans for nonrevolvers and generous rewards) might not account for those who use debit to control spending or to avoid the danger of revolving debt. New overdraft regulations could also make debit simpler and more attractive for everyday users.
And as ever-more sophisticated and niche payment systems (virtual currencies, social payments, ACH iterations) emerge, credit unions will need to pay attention to consumer demands and trends. “It’s entirely possible that 10 years from now, our cell phone-transacting children will stare blankly as we talk about choosing between credit and debit cards,” says Rogers.
Rather than predicting the imminent demise of this or that payment method, though, the Filene research encourages credit unions to recognize that a complex mix of payments—each attuned to the context and convenience of the purchase—is here to stay.